Donegal 6th highest county when it comes to rate of Covid fines

Donegal is among the top 10 counties in the country for the issue of fines by gardai for breaches of coronavirus restrictions.

The figures, up to Thursday last, show Sligo/Leitrim is in the lower mid-range when it comes to fines.

Gardai have issued about 13,600 people fines of between €100 and €500 each for a variety of offences that breach Covid-19 restrictions.

They range from travelling more than five kilometres from home, non-essential travel, organising or attending house parties and not wearing a face covering.

Figures up to Thursday last show that per 100,000 population, the most fines were imposed in Limerick, Cork, Waterford, Wicklow and Louth, with Donegal in 6th spot.

The figure for Donegal was 308 per 100,000 population, while Sligo/Leitrim was much further down the list, at 225.

Half of those fined were aged 25 or under; three-quarters were men.

In some areas in the north west, gardai have focussed on amenity areas such as beaches and forests.

Gardai have also set up checkpoints to ascertain if people were travelling beyond 5k.

And they have been checking too on house parties; despite this some large social gatherings have taken place, including in Sligo town.

Gardai say the number of fines issued in each Garda division will vary depending on factors such as population, size of geographic area, the local economy, travel patterns and public amenities available.

Anyone who fails to pay a fine within 28 days will be summoned to court, where they face the possibility of a €1,000 fine or imprisonment.